Lidija Grozdanic

Norwegian Town Creates 'Artificial Sun' to Light Up Dark Winter Days

by , 07/23/13

Rjukan mirrors, Rjukan Mirror Project, helistatic system, solar power, solar power Norway, solar energy, sun-tracking mirrors, renewable energy sources, artificial sun, artificial sun Norway

The small Norwegian town of Rjukan is getting its own artificial sun this month. Engineers are completing The Mirror Project—a system of three 300 square foot heliostatic mirrors that redirect winter light into the valley, turning one of the biggest town squares into a sunny meeting place. The entire mechanism is controlled by a central computer that adjusts the position of the mirrors.

Rjukan mirrors, Rjukan Mirror Project, helistatic system, solar power, solar power Norway, solar energy, sun-tracking mirrors, renewable energy sources, artificial sun, artificial sun Norway

Three huge mirrors were installed on the face of a neighboring mountain a few days ago that will redirect the sun down onto the town. The light will create a 2,000-square-foot circle on the town square which is usually in shadow. Costing less than a million dollars, the Mirror Project will bring light to the Norwegian town which is, from September until the end of March, in near perpetual darkness.

The idea of having a system of mirrors that light up the town can be traced back to industrialist Sam Eyde. As a technically less demanding alternative, he envisioned a cable car that would bring the people out of the dark valley for at least a few hours on weekends. Eyde’s idea of artificially illuminating the town was brought to life nearly a century later, with a state-of-the-art heliostatic system that can chase away dark Nordic winters.

This is not the first artificial sun built in Europe-a small Italian town in the Alps called Viganella installed a 26-foot-wide mirror on an adjacent mountain slope in 2006. Heliostatic systems were also built in the Austrian town of Rattenberg around the same time.

+ The Mirror Project

Via Gizmodo

Images by Karl Martin Jakobsen via Visit Rjukan

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4 Comments

  1. Mark Ursum October 31, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Hi, you can have such a system yourself for a little price! see heliostaat.nl Many systems placed over the world.

  2. Ujjwal Ghimire July 29, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    can i get video report, please?

  3. filmfredrik July 29, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Not a bad idea. It does get horribly dark here in Scandinavia for most parts of the year.

    Linked on Sprawler: sprawler.tumblr.com

  4. Great White- Shark: Ear... July 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    This is great, as long as everything is recycle, biodegradable, completely made by the town’s citizens, since in one of Western Europe’s Socialist Democratic Countries, I know those who work on it is the country are work under livable wages and benefits.
    Used as a teaching experience for the countries’ kids, students and citizens.
    If all is true, why not redirect more sunlight in more of the town?

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